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The SmarK Rant for NXT–03.25.15

The SmarK Rant for NXT – 03.25.15

Well since this is something of a mini-special, I figured I’d give it a review. So was this taped before or after the Columbus show last week that set this show up?

Taped from Orlando, FL

Your hosts are Rich Brennan & Corey Graves

NXT Women’s title: Sasha Banks v. Alexa Bliss

Bliss gets the quick rollup for two and a crucifix for two, and she controls with a dropkick for two. Sasha boots her out of the corner and smacks her down for two, and the double knees get two. Straitjacket hold on the mat, but Bliss reverses out and into a small package for two. Bliss dumps her and makes a sloppy comeback in the ring, but gets a nice legsweep into the standing moonsault for two. Flip powerbomb out of the corner gets two. That was nice. She goes up and misses a dive, and Sasha finishes with the Bank Statement at 5:35 to retain. Bliss is getting better and there’s definitely potential there. **1/4

Meanwhile, Emma doesn’t want to say I told you so, but she told Bailey so. Bailey disagrees, so Emma fires off a slap.

Meanwhile, Tyler Breeze wants another title shot, but Hideo wants a 2/3 falls match next week.

Dana Brooke is coming at some point. Perhaps by the time all these interviews and video packages are over.

Meanwhile, the Dubstep Cowboys have a gift for Carmella, but Cass and Enzo think they’re giving her a fugazi. “Who are these guys, Donnie Brasco?”

NXT title: Kevin Owen v. Finn Balor

We’ve gone close to 30 minutes without a match after the opener, so this has not been the best-paced show thus far. Owen grinds on a headlock to start, but Balor dropkicks him out of the ring. And we take a break. Back with Finn working on the arm and Owens bails to the apron, necksnapping Finn to take over. We hit the chinlock and Owens gets an elbow for two. Back to the chinlock and we take ANOTHER break. Back with more of the chinlock and they fight to the floor, but Owens gets a samoan drop off a crucifix attempt for two. Senton gets two. And back to the chinlock. Overhead suplex gets two, and it’s back to the chinlock as we take a THIRD break. Oh come on now. Back with Balor putting Owens on the floor and following with a dive. Back in, a flying curb stomp gets two. Pele Kick as the crowd finally wakes up. Sling Blade sets up an Impaler DDT for two. The corner dropkick misses and Finn hurts his knee, so Owens goes to work on it with a half-crab. Finn makes the ropes and double-stomps him right in the face, and they fight to the top rope, where Owens takes him down with a crazy cradle superplex, which gets two. Finn fights back with a high kick from the apron, but Owens clips the knee again and cannonballs him in the corner. Another one, right to the knee, and Balor is in a bad situation. Third one misses and Balor comes back with the corner dropkick and goes up with the double stomp, but his knee is shot. Well, shit. Pop Up Powerbomb finishes at 27:35. Felt like it needed a stronger finish for Owens, but it was a hell of a match and sounds like the swan song for Balor in NXT. ****

The Pulse

This was literally a one match show, but I have no earthly idea why they felt compelled to stretch it out to a full hour instead of just doing 45 minutes like they usually do. The rest of the show was a whole lot of nothing, just video packages and Wrestlemania commercials basically.


  1. I, using the correct meaning of following word, literally cannot think of any reason to leave Balor in NXT at this point. The question is, of course, without Santino wrestling right now, who will he do the job for first?

  2. I guess it kind of depends on whether they're going with the re-branding of the show as HHH's smark darling indy promotion or maintaining it as the developmental league. If it's going to be bigger budget ROH, then leaving him down as the big star makes sense. Otherwise, his story has been told down there and it's time to bring the entrance to RAW.

  3. it'll depend if Hunter can get a good revolving door of indy guys to pick up where Balor and Neville, presumably on their way to the main roster soon, left off. Crowe and potential prospects in The Briscoes and Uhaa Nation would do fine, but how long can the well produce water?

  4. I agree that it's time to move him up anyway - as a top face, he did a clean job to the heel champ in his title match. If HHH wants to run it like the old territories, that would be all but a sign he was leaving Memphis for Texas the next day.

  5. Well, Joe's coming in pretty soon, by all accounts. I would guess that so long as ROH can keep the lights on, HHH will cherry-pick them pretty much forever. It's not like they have any leverage in the situation - if the guys leave and go to NXT and fail, thanks to the NXT exposure they're getting now, they can demand more money on the indies than they did before. I'm pretty sure that Hero said all but the same thing on Cabana's podcast, and NXT has more exposure now than it did back then.

  6. Dana Brooke seems more like a TNA Knockout.


    (Although, as a gym rat/bodybuilder with huge fake boobs...this might be more of a Triple H choice. The guy's doing a good job with NXT...but he's not perfect.)

  7. ROH has survived by finding stars everytime WWE anhilates the top of their card

    I saw this man for the first time today. I now very much would pay money to see him wrestle

  8. Unless your name is Kenny King or *maybe* Davey Richards, ROH isn't blackballing you.

  9. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONMarch 26, 2015 at 12:39 AM

    As soon as I saw his entrance, I knew that as soon as VINCE saw it, despite his size, he would immediately go "WHY THE FUCK IS THIS GUY NOT ON RAW GODDAMNIT." He must have seen it by now, so it's just a foregone conclusion that he's main roster bound.

  10. So, Hideo Itami comes to NXT...and The Ascension suddenly announce themselves as racists (as much as Triple H did when feuding with Booker T pre-WMXIX) and determined to drive Hideo back to Japan. They seem to be succeeding until Finn Balor teams with Itami and The Ascension are driven out of NXT to curtain jerk WWE Superstars and buried as lame wannabes in their couple of Raw episodes.

    Now, Tyler Breeze is feuding with Hideo Itami. Tyler calls him Hideo-us (which is classic Breeze and perfect.) I'm fine with this.

    ...but then they run a promo (during one of the many breaks in Ballor v Owens) that leads off with "Tyler Breeze wants to send Hideo Itami back to Japan."

    Is everyone who feuds with Hideo Itami going to be given the racist storyline/character flaw? Can't they find some other reason someone might want to fight Hideo?

    Might as well drop "Hideo Itami" and just call him "Japan Guy".

  11. Is he doing a Rip Taylor gimmick?!

  12. Flamboyant 1970s comedian.

  13. Wasn't part of the deal that he made that he wouldn't stay in developmental very long?

  14. That was the rumor, yes. I would hope that he isn't pseudo-punished for that, but we'll have to see.

  15. Variety is not a bad thing for a division.

    The NXT women's division could use a big burly lady (that's still pretty). Charlotte is the ubermensch, Sasha is the vicious heel technician, Bayley is the scrappy brawler, Becky is the Euro grappler and Alexa is the flippy pin combo lady.

    They could use a strong person in there.

  16. blahblahblahblah5March 26, 2015 at 1:45 AM

    I was not enthused by that video package. I just hope she can work and gets over with that than by showing off her cleavage.

  17. Why expand the show? Because the purpose of NXT is apparently to preview every single Wrestlemania match. That, to my great horror, has got to be a Vince decision.

    We did, at least, get a solid half hour of wrestling.

  18. Just like it was time to bring the Adam Rose entrance to RAW?

  19. I don't think sending him back to Japan is necessarily racist.

    I think it's a worked-shoot-ish "I'm going to beat you so bad you'll quit and leave the big leagues" angle.

    Though Hideo does desperately need some character development.

  20. I still think Adam Rose should have debuted as a heel, doing the exact same schtick, just against the faces. I love the entrance, and he's got a face that just screams for someone to kick his ass.

  21. He's not exactly setting the WWE Universe on fire as a heel, either.

  22. There were two problems with Rose's entrance: first, they didn't scale it to the main show. It looked big in NXT and small on RAW. Second, he's like Van Hammer - presented as a rock star, but you don't ever actually see him perform anything.

  23. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighMarch 26, 2015 at 6:13 AM

    That was amazing haha. I know a few dudes who work for ROH. I'll need to ask about this guy. Seems like quite the character

  24. It's been 60 minutes in the past because I remember thinking that was weird, figuring it was a Network thing, then noticing the next week was back to 45 minutes.


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